Lake Texana - 2010 Survey Report
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Prepared by John Findeisen and Greg Binion
Inland Fisheries Division
District 1-E, Mathis, Texas
This is the authors' summary from a 28-page report. For a copy of the complete report, use the download link in the sidebar.
Fish populations in Lake Texana were surveyed in 2002, 2006, and 2010 using trap nets and electrofishing and in 2003, 2007, and 2011 using gill nets. An additional largemouth bass-only, electrofishing survey was conducted in spring 2008. This report summarizes the results and contains a management plan for the reservoir based on those findings.
Lake Texana is a 9,727-acre reservoir, controlled by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority (LNRA), located on the Navidad River in the Lavaca River Basin, approximately 20 miles east of Victoria. It receives water from the Navidad River, Sandy Creek, and Mustang Creek and is used for water supply and recreation. Water level typically fluctuates 2-4 ft annually but has fluctuated as much as six feet.
Important sport fish species include blue and channel catfish, white bass, largemouth bass, and white and black crappie. Management strategies from the 2007 Performance Report focused on assisting LNRA with vegetation control, additional springtime electrofishing surveys for largemouth bass, and changing sampling effort. Herbicide treatments are conducted annually by LNRA staff and hired contractors. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) assisted as consultants for vegetation control and as a funding source. Spring electrofishing surveys were conducted in 2008. Minimal sampling effort was reduced to match the TPWD sampling procedures manual.
- Prey species: Gizzard and threadfin shad were abundant in the reservoir but were no longer the predominant forage group. Abundance of all sunfish species have increased substantially and sunfish are now the predominant forage group. The increased abundance in sunfish is likely explained by the increase in habitat, primarily submersed aquatic vegetation. Overall, forage species were small enough to be consumed by most predatory species.
- Catfishes: Blue, channel, and flathead catfish were present in the reservoir with blue catfish being the predominant species. Blue catfish provided a good angling opportunity as evidenced by balanced size structure as well as good numbers of legal-sized fish.
- White bass: Gill net catch rates of white bass increased substantially in 2011. The population appeared healthy and the majority of fish collected in gill nets were legal-sized. Growth was rapid as most white bass reached 10-inches by age 1.
- Largemouth bass: The largemouth bass electrofishing catch rate was the highest in over 10 years. The sample was predominantly small (sublegal-sized) fish indicating increased spawning success and survival from previous years. A few legal-sized fish were collected as well. The average age of 14-inch largemouth bass was 1.4 years.
- Crappie: Overall trap net catch rates of black and white crappie increased but catch rates of legal-size fish was similar to previous surveys. The majority of both populations were comprised of sublegal-sized fish, indicating good spawning success and survival. White crappie reached 10 inches by age 2.
Continue to work with the LNRA on exotic aquatic vegetation control, write and distribute press releases concerning the fisheries, and continue to manage fisheries under current regulations.
Performance Report as required by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act Texas Federal Aid Project F-221-M-1 Statewide Freshwater Fisheries Monitoring and Management Program